It’s not on youtube but get yourself a reasonably priced re-issue of Elvin Jones ‘Midnight Walk’ if you can. It’s one of those really special jazz albums like Pearson’s The Phantom and Byrd’s ‘Slow Drag’ that has a particularly dark quality, something unusual going on that never diminishes no matter how many times you hear it.
Jones, a superior drummer in every way, obviously features quite heavily - tracks such as ‘Lycra Too’ have him to the front of the sound, but the walking bass riff and Steve James’ electric piano also have big parts. ‘Midnight Walk’ is a brilliantly unique piece featuring Dollar Brand on piano.
‘Tintiyana’ starts with a minimalist, almost Phillip Glass, piano sequence from Brand that goes on to be show off his skills as one of the great pianists. When the band comes in, you get the uneasy feeling you get of trying to catch up with someone who just keeps walking that little bit faster than you, made possible by Elvin Jones playing in waltz time to everyone else’s 4/4. ‘HM on FM’ is a more straight ahead swinger. ‘Cross Purpose’ is a bebop flavoured tune with its high rising figures, but the solos are far more modern; ‘All of Us’ eases back and lets you drift away in its arms and the final ‘The Juggler’ puts down a rhythm like something off an early Tom Waits record, before the tune is played with embellishments from Brand’s mischievous piano. Wonderfully up in the air sort of ending, to end a strange mix of an album.